New Films

IF ONLY (15)

Director: Maria Ripoll

Starring: Douglas Henshall

Mix Twelve Monkeys with Four Weddings and a Funeral, and you'd get Maria Ripoll's mainly dreadful Anglo-Spanish comedy. Henshall stars as a dumped boyfriend who is transported back in time by some mysterious Spanish dustmen. As dopey as it sounds, but a lot less fun.

Countrywide

THE NEGOTIATOR (15)

Director: F Gary Gray

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, JT Walsh

Two of modern cinema's current favourites go head to head in Gray's thrilling drama about a negotiator forced to kick up a hostage situation of his own. Originally written for Sylvester Stallone, the script has a predilection for lunk- headed swearing that sounds uneasy in the mouths of such articulate and rhetorical performers. However, it doesn't disrupt the wonderfully louche chemistry between them.

Coutrywide

OUT OF SIGHT (15)

Director: Stephen Soderbergh

Starring: George Clooney

Elmore Leonard is the source for Stephen Soderbergh's irresistible slice of pulp fiction, involving the usual stuff about eccentric low- lifes, comic cops, and their involvement in intrigues and heists that are far too complicated to take seriously. George Clooney plays the jail-breaking hero, Jack Foley, as a down-and-dirty version of Cary Grant, and turns in the best performance of his career so far. Suddenly, he seems to be a grown-up film star at a time when most of Hollywood's male heartthrobs don't look old enough to get served in a pub.

Countrywide

THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (U)

Director: George Cukor

Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart

See The Independent Recommends, right.

Limited Release

THE SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS (15)

Director: Tamara Jenkins

Starring: Alan Arkin

See The Independent Recommends, right.

Limited Release

T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS (3-D) (U)

Director: Brett Leonard

Starring: Peter Horton

I-Max 3-D dinosaurs are the kind of cute sensation for which cinema was invented, and Leonard's simply-scripted effects showcase lets the reptiles roar in your face, swoop over your head, and pursue you through the trees. But while you see every scale of the tyrannosaurus in living colour, you also get a pin-sharp view of Liz Stauber's zits.

Limited Release

VICTORY (15)

Director: Mark Peploe

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Irene Jacob, Sam Neill

This Euro-funded Conrad adaptation takes us to a sleazy hotel in the South Seas where well-known character actors (Simon Callow, Bill Paterson, etc) favour extravagant facial hair, and the mid-price stars (Jacob, Neill, Dafoe) do some safe, literary acting. But any Archers fans should take a look, as one of the hairier patrons is played by Edward Kelsey, better known as the voice of Joe Grundy.

Limited Release

THE WISDOM OF CROCODILES (15)

Director: Po Chih Leong

Starring: Jude Law, Elina Lowensohn, Timothy Spall

Jude Law stars as a contemporary vampire in a designer anorak, who has the decency to wine and dine his victims before he goes for their jugular. A well-intentioned attempt to give an adult twist to a genre that's principally an adolescent enthusiasm is undone by a script that can't tell the difference between genuine sophistication and pretentious rambling.

Limited Release

Matthew Sweet

Comments